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Utah vs USC Predictions

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2023

The Los Angeles Coliseum will be absolutely raucous for this ranked clash between the No. 14 Utah Utes and No. 18 USC Trojans, after the home team suffered their first loss of the season in uncompetitive fashion at Notre Dame, and needs desperately to get back on track.

At long last, USC will get a crack at Utah after the two sides met in last year’s Pac-12 Championship Game, which the Utes won for the second year in a row. Of course, the finish was an ambiguous one, as many believe that USC would have won that contest had Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Caleb Williams not suffered an injury that severely hampered his play for three quarters of the game.

Who will win this Saturday’s thrilling rematch? Find out with our free Utah Utes vs USC Trojans college football picks and predictions for Saturday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. ET.

Utah vs USC Odds

Track our latest CFB odds for Utes vs Trojans

NCAAF lines used for Utah at USC are current as of Monday, Oct. 16 at 10:45 a.m. ET on DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: USC (-250) • Utah (+220)
  • Spread: USC -6.5 (-110) • Utah +6.5 (-110)
  • Total Points: Over 56 (-110) • Under 56 (-110)

Most shops have USC as a favorite of just less than a touchdown, a key distinction from a flat seven. As for the total, it will be fascinating to see how this one plays out, with a high-powered USC offense facing a stout Utah defense, while an embattled USC defense gets to go up against a Utah offense that’s still missing star quarterback Cam Rising.

Utah vs USC Prediction

SCORE PICK: USC 30, Utah 17

The loss to Notre Dame was the first time all season USC had been held below 40 points, although it did take it a couple of overtimes to get there against Arizona. This is a home game, and the Trojans offense should have plenty of the ball, but this Utah defense is third in the nation in EPA per play, and will provide an enormous test as well.

That being said, the Utes offense without Rising is simply not up to the task of pulling off this major road win. They’re 116th in EPA per play, and have put up just about one impressive performance all year.

Perhaps most importantly, their average of 29.3 seconds per snap is 122nd in the Nation, nowhere near quick enough to keep up with USC, and the Trojans will eventually be able to pull away with some big plays.

Utah vs USC Best Bets

USC -6.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

This is an absolutely fantastic number, as we get to wager on USC to win by just a touchdown. Even with the recent struggles, its offense is still ninth in the country by EPA per play, and will be easily the toughest unit that this Utah Team has faced yet.

The other side of the ball is going to be the real question, as the Trojans have yet to turn in a single impressive defensive performance.

That being said, the Utah offense has ripped off clunkers such as seven points against Oregon State and 31 at home against FCS Weber State. The quarterback position is the real issue, as Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson have both almost entirely failed to fill the void left by the injured Rising.

The pair have only thrown for four touchdowns and won’t be able to take full advantage of USC’s defensive ineptitude.

Under 56 (-110)

BetRivers Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

After being completely stymied by Notre Dame’s defense, which ranks top 20 in EPA, USC is going to try to put together a better performance against Utah’s top-five unit. Williams isn’t likely to throw three interceptions again, so we’re projecting slightly more output from the Trojans, but this Utah defense is a problem, too.

Built around a strong front seven, stars like edge rusher Jonah Elliss and linebacker Karene Reid will help this unit create havoc in the USC backfield.

The Utes offense scored 34 points on a solid Cal defense this past week, but that was at home in Rice-Eccles Stadium, one of the best home-field advantages in the country. The Utes will now be playing away from home for just the third time this year - the first two times included that Oregon State game and a 20-point output against Baylor, whose defense is currently 121st in EPA per play.

USC’s defense is not an impressive unit, but leaders like Calen Bullock in the defensive backfield and Solomon Byrd up front should be able to help the Trojans do enough to limit the Utes in this one.

Utah vs USC Same Game Parlay

Utah vs USC SGP (+162)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.50 Units

  • USC (-250)
  • 1H Under 27.5 (-108)

Several Trojans games this season and last have involved a flurry of late-game scoring from Williams and the offense, as head coach Lincoln Riley seems to always have one more trick up his sleeve. Riley is a great in-game adjustor, but could struggle early on with this Utah defense.

Similarly, Utah skipper Kyle Wittingham is the longest-tenured coach in the conference and often starts his games with a measured approach, making sure he always has more in the chamber for the endgame.

We’ll pair this first-half total with USC’s moneyline rather than the spread, protecting against a gritty, ugly game where the Trojans do not dominate, but rather find a way to win, whatever it takes.

Author

William Schwartz

As a former athlete and lifetime fan, sports have always been a huge part of my life. I've written about them for almost as long as I've been watching and playing them, from a blog I wrote with a friend in middle school, to journalism classes at the University of Michigan, to today. I hope to bring you entertaining coverage, strong analysis, and profitable betting picks on any and all sports, whether it's MLB baseball, college football, European soccer, or anything in between.

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